Final Mock Exam Passed with Flying Colours.
Rainworth played their final pre-season match at home today against Premier Division rivals Matlock Town before next Saturday’s league action begins.
The fans were eager to see if they could continue to play the eye catching passing game that has become a feature of their recent performances, whilst eliminating the defensive lapses that have proven so costly against higher class opposition
A near full strength Rainworth side passed both with flying colours, in a first half that was for the most part dominated by the midfields; chances were of a premium and it ended scoreless. Danny Bacon did have the ball in the net from a fine move, when he converted Ricky Hanson’s cross, unfortunately it was ruled out for offside. Kevin Gee must have been delighted as his charges proved they could play their passing game whilst still maintaining control in defence. The only worrying moment was just before half time when Ricky Hanson had to be substituted after picking up an injury.
At half time Blair Anderson was introduced and it didn’t take him long to make an impact on the game. Stephen Akers continued a flowing move with an inch perfect pass to Ian Holmes whose cross was met in full stride by Blair Anderson and despatched into the Matlock goal. A few moments later the roles were reversed with Blair Anderson’s cross just being intercepted by the goalkeeper with Ian Holmes ready to pounce. In this period of Rainworth dominance there was some concern that the failure to add to the score would perhaps be at some cost in the latter stages.
Rainworth’s defence on the day was proving solid, but there were moments of concern, especially after the introduction of Nathan Joynes by Matlock. In quick succession he hit the crossbar and then had a fine drive tipped over the by Joe McCormack. It was during this period that Rainworth had a rare lapse of concentration and when an innocuous cross was allowed to pass three defenders Martin Foster gleefully side footed in the equaliser.
With only minutes remaining, it would have been understandable if Rainworth had shut up shop and settled for a very creditable draw against opposition from a higher league. That may once have been the case, but that is no longer the Rainworth way and they continued to attack the Matlock goal. With just three minutes remaining Stephen Akers found Antwon Bonnick in the penalty area with a delightful ball and just as he was about to put the ball into the net he was upended by the goalkeeper. There were no arguments to what was a ‘stonewall penalty’ and Stephen Akers duly converted to restore Rainworth’s lead.
At the final whistle there was much optimism about the coming season after a performance that was filled with so many positives.
RAINWORTH: McCormack : Hanson : Goward : Camm : Burton : Cooksey : Lloyd : J. Holmes : Bacon : I. Holmes : Payne Subs: Akers : Anderson : Clarke : Bolt : Bonnick : Horne : West.
MATLOCK TOWN: Kennedy : Harcourt : Roe : Foster : Yates : Featherstone : Bowler : Ashmore: Ellington : Leesley. Subs: Algar : Joynes : Laight : Davies : Grayson : Witcombe : Dennis : Buxton. : Horne : West
REFEREE: Declan Bourne
Man of match: Rainworth: Danny Bacon